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Central Bark Doggy Day Care’s “Dog Safety and Bite Prevention” Curriculum Educates Broward Elementary School-Age Children on Bite Prevention

Central Bark Doggy Day Care in Oakland Park, a pioneer of the doggy day care industry and creator of the “UnKennel” concept, celebrates May’s National Bite Prevention Week with the franchise’s “Dog Safety and Bite Prevention” curriculum developed for elementary school age children. Program objectives include helping reduce the preventable public health problem of dog bites; educating children on dog behavior and how dogs communicate; educating children on how to approach dogs; and educating children on what to do if they are approached by a stray or loose dog.
Central Bark Fort Lauderdale “Dog Safety and Bite Prevention” curriculum includes a classroom training session completely geared towards younger children, as well as an interactive activity coloring fact sheet – also handed out in all of the Central Bark locations throughout the country for the month of May.  The stores post the coloring sheets in their lobbies as another way to reach out to consumers on the importance of Bite Prevention.  A specially trained therapy dog will be on hand for each event as well as the lovable Central Bark mascot, Barkly.
Schools participating in this year’s sessions so far included:

  • Church by the Sea
  • Oakland Park Elementary
  • Northside Elementary
  • Pinecrest Elementary
  • Whispering Pines

We would love to visit your school next year.  Just call (954) 568-3647 and we’ll be sure to get your school on next years schedule.
According to the AVMA, “there are 70 million nice dogs, but any dog can bite!”   The following statistics are listed on the AVMA website relating to dog bites in the U.S.:

  • Each year, more than 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs.
  • Almost 1 in 5 people bitten by dogs require medical attention.
  • Every year, more than 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites; at least half of them are children.
  • Children are, by far, the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured.
  • Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs.
  • Senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims.

Children need to be able to:
Recognize dog behavior:

  • Tail is up and stiff or tucked tightly between the dogs legs
  • Mouth and lips are pulled back showing teeth (dog may be barking or growling)
  • Eyes are hard and may appear black as the pupil is dilated
  • Ears are folded tightly back in a defensive position
  • Hair on the back and shoulders might stand up and stick out
  • Body very rigid and upright leaning forward and high

Understand that dogs are animals and by nature unpredictable, which means you don’t always know what they are going to do.
Acknowledge that any animal with a mouth and teeth can, and under the right circumstances, bite.
In addition the children are taught the safe way to approach a dog, how to socialize your own dog, and what to do if a stray dog approaches them, which is the “meat and potatoes” of the curriculum — as it is the most likely “unsupervised” scenario that could potentially happen, including tips on:
What NOT TO DO:

  • NEVER run or scream
  • NEVER look directly into the dog’s eyes

What TO DO:

  • If you are standing, you should pretend to be a tree, stand straight and tall
  • If you are sitting, you should pretend to be a rock, curled up and low
    No talking, because trees and rocks don’t talk
  • Fold your arms across your body
  • Do not move
  • Do not look at the dog
  • After the dog leaves, tell an adult what happened

Central Bark’s “Dog Safety and Bite Prevention” curriculum is an interactive program, which includes utilizing Barkley, the company mascot, to demonstrate what is being taught and helping the children to grasp the concepts.  Between 2012 and 2013 approximately 4,000 students were exposed to Central Bark’s “Bite Prevention” program.
 

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